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New Protocols Demonstrate Dramatic Improvement in Thermage Efficacy and Safety

FREDERICKSBURG, Va., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Thermage by ThermaCool was introduced as a noninvasive skin tightening procedure in 2003. Using novel technology to administer radiofrequency energy to the skin, the dermis is heated, causing collagen contraction and subsequent skin tightening. It is used predominantly on the face, eyes and neck, but body applications are also available.

Thermage initially showed less than optimal results. Patients complained of little or no response to treatment and the procedure was deemed too painful. Additionally, some patients sustained fat atrophy and dimpling of the skin.

Research discovered that the original treatment algorithm was the culprit, rather than the technology itself. The original algorithm used a single pass of radiofrequency energy over the treatment area at higher energies. This required analgesics and topical anesthetic. Because of initial poor responses, some practitioners were using higher energies in an attempt to achieve better results. This is felt to have led to the reports of fat atrophy and dimpling of the skin as well as complaints of pain.

A new treatment algorithm was introduced in 2007 to improve response to treatment and to eliminate complications while simultaneously decreasing patient discomfort. This new protocol uses multiple passes at lower energies. The goal is to increase patient satisfaction while decreasing patient discomfort. ThermaCool helped practitioners accomplish this by increasing the size of the treatment tips and adding charges to the tips, thus allowing additional passes and decreasing treatment times. Additionally, treatment vectors were added to the protocol to produce tension lines for added soft tissue lift.

In 2007, a paper was published in the peer reviewed journal, Dermatologic Surgery entitled "Results of a Survey of 5,700 Patient Monopolar Radiofrequency Facial Skin Tightening Treatments: Assessment of a Low-Energy Multiple-Pass Technique Leading to a Clinical End Point Algorithm." The results of this paper's investigation demonstrated that using the original treatment algorithm, 26% of patients demonstrated immediate tightening, 54% observed skin tightening 6 months after treatment, 45% found the procedure too painful, and 68% of patients found the treatment results met their expectations. With the new multiple-pass algorithm, 87% observed immediate tightening, 92% had the tightening six months after treatment, 5% found the procedure too painful, while 94% found the treatment results met their expectations.

In response to this unbiased, well conducted, peer reviewed paper, Dr. Palmer has added Thermage to Vein and Laser of Virginia's rejuvenation treatment options.

SOURCE Vein and Laser of Virginia
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